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Arizona tribe temporarily bans dances after police officer is fatally shot responding to disturbance

The Gila River Indian Community has issued a temporary ban on dances after a tribal police officer was fatally shot and another wounded while responding to a reported disturbance at a Santan home, tribal officials said Sunday.

Stephen Roe Lewis, governor of the tribe south of Phoenix, said a special meeting of community council’s leaders was held Saturday night.

The council approved a temporary moratoriumon all permitted and non-permitted dances in the community, effective immediately, along with enhanced penalties for trespassing and disorderly conduct, he said.

Not only will party attendees face arrest and criminal trespass charges, but the property owners where the dances are happening will also be subject to the same penalties, and risk losing their home or lease.

There are additional fines for if a person or group is providing music at the dances, and are subject to having their instruments and music equipment confiscated.

The Phoenix FBI is investigating the fatal shooting, but it has not released many details.

The Arizona Republic reported that the shooting occurred at a teenager’s birthday party in Santan, located in one of the tribal community’s seven districts.

Joshua Briese, who had been with the Gila River Police Department for less than a year and had not completed field training, responded to the scene along with another tribal police officer around 2 a.m. Saturday on a 911 disturbance call involving a large crowd.

Police said multiple gunshots were fired and both officers were struck, with four other people wounded.

Briese was declared dead at a hospital, and the other officer, whose name hasn’t been released yet, was listed in serious but stable condition, according to police.

One of the four people wounded later died, police said. The names of the victims weren’t immediately available Sunday.

Briese, 23, was the son of a former sheriff’s deputy in Montana who also died in the line of duty.

The Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post that David Briese was killed in a November 2006 car crash.

News reports said David Briese was responding at the time to a backup call for an officer who was dealing with a combative impaired driver in Billings, Montana.

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Associated Press